In May, Relay For Life® is born when Dr. Gordy Klatt takes the first step of his 24-hour

walk/jog/run around a track in Tacoma, Wash., raising $27,000 to support the American

Cancer Society.


Relay For Life becomes the American Cancer Society’s signature fundraising event and


within the first year surpasses involvement by more than 500 communities nationwide.


The first Relay in the southern hemisphere takes place in Melbourne, Australia. Today,

Relay For Life is a global movement with events in 19 countries outside the United




American Cancer Society Relay For Life Celebration on the Hill™, a grassroots event

celebrating cancer survivorship and empowering people to advocate for laws that will

help fight back against cancer, takes place in Washington, D.C.


Relay surpasses $1 billion in total contributions since the event’s inception in 1985.



Relay marks 20 years of growth with its most successful year to date: donations reaching

$351 million.

The first Relay For Life event is held in the interactive online community Second Life.


More than 10,000 Ambassadors and supporters gather in the nation’s capital for the

American Cancer Society Cancer Action NetworkSM’s second Celebration on the Hill™


event. The Relay For Life Wall of Hope, bearing more than one million signatures, is

constructed on the National Mall as the world’s largest temporary monument.

Relay For Life and ABC television team up for a five-day-long Relay in Spencer County,

Ind., as part of an episode of the show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Shawna Farina

of St. Meinrad, Ind., an active Relay For Life participant, is the recipient of the home




Relay For Life launches www.RelayForLife.org, a Web site featuring social networking

and comprehensive information on Relay. From its inception through 2009, more than

2.6 million people have visited the site.


The first Fight Back Ceremonies are held at community Relay For Life events


nationwide, giving Relay participants the opportunity to make a pledge to save a life.

The fourth annual Relay For Life of Second Life is held in the interactive online

community, raising a record-$215,000 and engaging with people around the world who

otherwise might not have participated in a Relay event.


Cancer survivors, caregivers, and American Cancer Society volunteers around the globe


celebrate “25 years of HOPE” through Relay For Life.

The American Cancer Society launches a Facebook application to enable active social

media users to share their Relay For Life experiences, celebrate the 25th year of Relay,

and fundraise via their personal networks.

Relay For Life now takes place in 5,000 communities across the United States and in 19

other countries and involves more than 3.5 million participants who are all helping the


American Cancer Society deliver on its mission of helping people stay well, by

preventing cancer or detecting it early; get well, by being in their corner through every

step of their cancer experience; by finding cures, through groundbreaking research and

treatment discoveries; and by fighting back, through influencing public policy.

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